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Public Policy and the New European Agendas

Edited by Fergus Carr and Andrew Massey

This broad and all-encompassing study focuses on Europe’s new policy agendas. It brings together international academic experts on a range of policies to discuss Europe’s place in the world and its relationship to the USA and beyond. This book concentrates on two key themes of particular salience for policy makers: the enlargement of the EU and the place of Europe in international politics. An expansive list of important policy areas within these themes is explored.
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Chapter 14: EU Regional Policy: From Side Payment to Societal Security

Mike Mannin


Mike Mannin Enlargement has changed the arena and agenda of structural funding. The foreseeable expansion of the EU by 10–12 new member states during the 1990s produced an integrated response by the Commission. Agenda 2000 (1997) included explicit recommendations for EU financial and policy frameworks to incorporate enlargement as well as a message for the Council of Ministers to hasten institutional reforms commensurate with enlargement and its consequential new policy arrangements (Commission, 1997).1 This, together with the implementation of Stage III of Economic and Monetary Union (1999), a persistently disappointing economic performance from several member states in recent years and, a consequently defensive intergovernmental atmosphere, was the arena for the future discussion of regional policy in the early years of the millennium. In such circumstances the role of structural funding, the main financial agent of an EU Regional Policy (EURP), took on a new significance. This begs the question of what the EURP agenda is. Can a complexity of policy objectives and budgetary envelopes, of inter-institutional responsibilities, of EU-wide and member state initiatives and funding arrangements, amount to a coherent policy agenda? It is perhaps worthwhile briefly defining the notion of EURP before attempting to answer this question.2 WHAT IS EURP? When applied at nation-state level the term regional policy refers to the intervention of a centrally directed public sector in the market and in social processes of specially denominated arenas, in order to reduce economic inequalities that exist within the state as a result...

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